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Iowa Champion Tree Found Toppled on Arbor Day

On this Arbor Day, there’s discouraging news that one of Iowa’s two national champion trees is damaged beyond repair. A team of tree experts went to a remote area near Pikes Peak State Park in northeast Iowa this week, intending to save the black ash tree and instead, found it broken into pieces. Mark Rouw says he was stunned. “I was really kind of in disbelief, but there’s no denying it, it was down, it’s gone,” Rouw says. “We’ve lost a national champion in Iowa and we don’t have many of those. Continue Reading

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Burn Bans Lifted

The burn bans for Des Moines and Lee Counties have now been lifted. Des Moines County Emergency Management Coordinator Gina Hardin lifted their ban at 10 am and Lee County cancelled its ban as of 8 am. The burn ban is still in effect in Henry County, Iowa and the Biggsville, Illinois Fire Protection District. Continue Reading

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Update on Old JCPenny Building on Jefferson Street

A downtown building that has sat empty for 37 years is in the process of being transformed. Steve Frevert with Downtown Partners gave us an update on the renovation of the old JCPenny building that sits at 520 Jefferson Street… Frevert says it may become a new downtown restaurant… New windows will also be put in. They hope to have them installed before the Snake Alley Criterium. Continue Reading

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Mini Riot on South Hill in Burlington

Police say two females were beaten by two males late yesterday afternoon on Burlington’s south side, and the assaults led to a mini crime wave and a large crowd gathering on Maple and South 9th Streets.  

City police are still trying to sort things out, but Sergeant Chad Zahn says what is known is that following the attacks, someone shot out a car window with what appeared to be a B.B. or pellet gun. After that, two houses in the neighborhood were vandalized, apparently in retaliation. Zahn says at its peak, the crowd numbered about 30 people, most of them watching what was going on. The initial call came in shortly before 4:30 yesterday afternoon and police continue their investigation. Continue Reading

Garrett Brockway Baseball Clinic this Saturday

Local boys and girls will learn about baseball from the pro’s this Saturday. The Burlington Bee’s are hosting their 2nd Annual Garrett Brockway Baseball Clinic. Garrett’s dad, Bruce Brockway, says he and his son attended these camps and always had a lot of fun… Manager of the Bees, Bill Richardson says they’ll have several stations set up around the ball park for the kids… The clinic is $25 for boys and girls ages 7-14. Continue Reading

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Two More Locals Arrested for Passing Fake Checks

Two more people were arrested today for the passing of fraudulent checks in the Burlington area. The Burlington Police Department has been investigating this crime for the past two months, arresting six individuals. The latest arrests made today were of 20-year-old Kendall Buckley of Burlington and 31-year-old Brian Bruce of West Burlington. They have been charged with Ongoing Criminal Conduct and are being held in the Des Moines County Jail on $25,000 bond pending a court appearance. The fraudulent payroll checks these individuals are passing around are allegedly from businesses such as UPS, Target, Wal-Mart and Applebees. Continue Reading

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Burglar Still on the Loose in Mediapolis

The town of Mediapolis is still dealing with a number of burglaries. The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Department has been working hard trying to figure out who is behind all the car and home break-ins, but have not found the individual yet. There was a burglary arrest made last week but Sheriff Mike Johnstone says, it’s not the person they’re looking for… Crime Stoppers is still offering a reward of up to $1,000 for any information that leads to an arrest. The Sheriff believes the burglar is a young male from descriptions he’s received, but has no further details because the man has only been seen at night. Continue Reading

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100th Anniversary of Wrigley Field

It’s Wrigley Field Day in Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn issued the designation Wednesday as the Chicago Cubs’ ballpark celebrates its 100th anniversary. The storied ballpark that opened as Weeghman Park on April 23, 1914 has hosted millions of fans over the years. In a statement, Quinn says “Wrigley Field is not just an Illinois landmark, it’s a national treasure.” The Cubs are holding a series of events this season to mark the anniversary. Continue Reading

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Picketer Upset with Klein Center

If you drove by the Great River Medical Center today you probably saw a man with a couple picket signs. Paul Ganakes is upset with the Klein Center where his mother is currently staying. His picket signs featured pictures of the 93-year-old woman with black eyes and scratches on her face. Ganakes says this is the second time she’s fallen, and this time no one was around to help her…. We contacted CEO Mark Richardson about the situation. Continue Reading

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Parent Upset that WB Allows Teacher to Coach Football for West Central

It’s not too often someone speaks up during the public comments portion at the West Burlington School Board Meetings, but last night one parent expressed a couple concerns. Michelle Murphy first spoke about how she felt it wasn’t right for former head football coach Jeff Housel to keep teaching at West Burlington and coach football for another school… Housel will continue to serve as West Burlington’s Athletic Director but has recently been hired to coach football for West Central High School. Murphy also expressed concern about open enrollment and wants to know if the school plans to hire more teachers to keep up with their increased enrollment… Superintendent Dave Schmitt suggested she make an appointment with him so they can discuss the issues one-on-one. Continue Reading